European Championship: Sarana beats Korobov, takes the lead

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
3/12/2023 – For the first time at the 2023 European Championship, Anton Korobov is not at least sharing the lead. The Ukrainian GM was defeated by Alexey Sarana, who thus climbed to sole first place in the standings. Now sharing second place with Korobov on 7/9 points are six more players: Etienne Bacrot, Benjamin Gledura, Kirill Shevchenko, Andrey Esipenko, Valentin Dragnev and David Paravyan. | Photos: European Chess Union

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Following a rather quiet eighth round on the top boards of the European Championship, an eventful ninth day of play saw six games from the top ten boards finishing decisively, with only two of the four draws lasting less than 30 moves. Importantly, former sole leader Anton Korobov lost his first game of the event, as he was defeated by 23-year-old Russian grandmaster Alexey Sarana.

Among the twenty-seven players who entered the round on 6/8, a full point behind the leader, five managed to collect wins and climb to shared second place — i.e. Andrey Esipenko, Kirill Shevchenko, David Paravyan, Etienne Bacrot and Valentin Dragnev.

As we pointed out in our round-8 report, reaching 8 points by the end of the 11-round tournament guarantees a spot in the World Cup, while 7½ points are not a guarantee but are likely to also make it into the qualification spots. This means that those who currently stand on 6/9 might feel compelled to play for a win in Sunday’s round, with some of the rating favourites belonging to that group.

Kirill Shevchenko

Current Romanian champion Kirill Shevchenko defeated Vitaliy Bernadskiy in round 9


Standings - Round 9

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Sarana Alexey 7,5 0
2 Korobov Anton 7 0
3 Bacrot Etienne 7 0
4 Gledura Benjamin 7 0
5 Shevchenko Kirill 7 0
6 Esipenko Andrey 7 0
7 Dragnev Valentin 7 0
8 Paravyan David 7 0
9 Kourkoulos-Arditis Stamatis 6,5 0
10 Abasov Nijat 6,5 0
11 Nguyen Thai Dai Van 6,5 0
12 Svane Frederik 6,5 0
13 Grandelius Nils 6,5 0
14 Santos Latasa Jaime 6,5 0
  Azarov Sergei 6,5 0
16 Subelj Jan 6,5 0
17 Predke Alexandr 6,5 0
18 Gelfand Boris 6,5 0
19 Kadric Denis 6,5 0
20 Gumularz Szymon 6,5 0
21 Kuzubov Yuriy 6,5 0
22 Parkhov Yair 6,5 0
23 Vocaturo Daniele 6,5 0
24 Svane Rasmus 6,5 0
25 Guliyev Namig 6,5 0

...484 players

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Carlos Colodro is a Hispanic Philologist from Bolivia. He works as a freelance translator and writer since 2012. A lot of his work is done in chess-related texts, as the game is one of his biggest interests, along with literature and music.